Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves

Rice is mixed with prawns and pork and steamed and served in lotus leaves.
  • 2 dried lotus leaves
  • 1 small handful of dried shrimp
  • 5 small dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Hot water, to soak dried ingredients and lotus leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 225g lean ground pork
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine
  • 350g cooked glutinous rice, recipe below
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Butcher’s twine, for tying lotus leaf parcels
  • 1 to 2 spring onions, sliced on diagonal, for garnish

In a large bowl or in a clean sink, soak the lotus leaves in enough hot water to cover, for 20 minutes, then drain and set aside. In a small bowl, soak the dried shrimp in enough hot water to cover for 20 minutes, drain and finely chop; set aside. In another small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for 20 minutes, drain and finely chop; set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat until wok begins to smoke then add the oil. Add the ginger, shallots, finely chopped shrimp, and finely chopped mushrooms and stir-fry for one minute. Add the ground pork and stir-fry to break up. When pork begins to brown, stir in five-spice and Shaohsing rice wine. When wine has almost evaporated, stir in the rice. Once rice is incorporated, season with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, ground white pepper and mix well. Remove from heat.

Remove lotus leaves from soaking water (if you haven’t already), open and pat dry with paper towels. Spoon half of the sticky rice mixture into the centre of one lotus leaf. Fold in sides (snug, but not tight), fold up the bottom and roll up. Secure with butchers twine. Repeat with remaining lotus leaf and rice. Place in a bamboo steamer and steam for 8 to 10 minutes to infuse with fragrance.

Remove from steamer and unwrap parcels. Served garnished with sliced spring onions.

Cook’s Note: Lotus leaves can be found at specialty Asian markets or online. Cook’s Note: Glutinous rice, often called sweet rice, is cooked by first thoroughly rinsing rice in water to remove excess starch until the water runs clear. Place 190g rice in a pan with 475ml water (1:2 ratio), then bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

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